Halloween season is finally here. For kids, that means candy, candy and more candy; but if you’re a parent or a guardian, that means making decisions. You have to make sure you keep your kid safe; walk that fine line between scary and downright gory; and pick the best haunted attraction for your kid in New Jersey, there are plenty to choose from).
But perhaps the biggest question is this: Are you a trick or treater…or a trunk or treater? If you’re not quite sure which way to go, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a breakdown of all of the benefits — and some of the downsides — of checking out your local trunk or treat.
Halloween can be an incredibly chaotic holiday for some parents, especially if you’ve got kids of different ages running around. It can seem impossible to keep a close eye on each of them as they run from house to house with their friends, opening their bags just long enough to snag a piece of candy before they’re off to the next stop. Trunk or treating eliminates some of the major risks of traditional trick or treating, such as busy streets, approaching strangers’ homes, and wandering away from the group. The more controlled environment takes a weight off of a parent’s shoulders and still allows for a fun, candy-filled day.
There Are Tons of Fun Extras
One of the major benefits of trunk or treating is the additional activities that are offered. From haunted hayrides and pumpkin patches, to raffles and giveaways, it can be more like a trip to the fair than just another year of ringing doorbells. So whenever those tired little legs need a break from all that candy collecting, there’s no need to head home. You can spend some downtime having fun at a booth or ride, and then hit the pavement for another round of trunk or treating!
The Trunks Have Themes
That’s right, some attendees turn trunk or treating into an art form. They choose a theme and decorate the trunk of their car accordingly – and the results are incredible. Half the fun of your trip around the lot will be seeing what creative design the next trunk offers. It brings an even more festive vibe to the event when you see the trunks are basically in costume as well. And, of course, these cool decorations are topped off with a ton of free candy so there’s really no way to go wrong here.
More Candy in Less Time
Trick or treating can be a major time (and energy) commitment for anyone who lives in a more rural or spread out region of New Jersey. Kids tend to be strategic about choosing the streets that will offer the most candy — i.e. where the houses are closest together, thus offering the most treats in the least amount of time. But this isn’t an option for everyone. So cut out the travel time between houses and take it to the parking lot for the ultimate Halloween candy haul.
There’s No Striking Out
Remember the disappointment of ringing the bell and waiting oh-so-patiently to yell out your best ‘trick or treat!’ — only to find that no one is home? That doesn’t exist at trunk or treat events. These cars are there for one reason and one reason only: candy! Your kid will walk away from your local trunk or treat with a full bag of treats and a 100% success rate. Happy kids and no wasted time? Sounds like a good deal.
It’s in a Parking Lot
While this is kind of an obvious statement, the meaning behind it goes a little deeper. It’s not so much an issue with the lot itself, but with the fact that it’s not a neighborhood. There’s something so nostalgic and just Halloween-y about running down the sidewalk and racing up the front steps of some house you’ve never been to before. Going door-to-door and yelling out trick or treat with your candy bag held out in front of you is Halloween. And while change can be a good thing, there’s definitely the feeling that something is missing when you completely trade trick or treating for trunk or treating on October 31.
It’s Not Really a ‘Neighborhood’ Event
While you’re off trunk or treating, your neighbors may be knocking on your door — and getting no response. Plus, part of the fun of Halloween is showing off your costume to friends and neighbors that you know — and seeing what they’re wearing as well.
Kids Miss Out on the Freedom
As kids get older, nights like Halloween become a way of expanding boundaries and gaining independence. They’re able to spend a few hours walking around with friends and getting a taste of the freedom that is to come when they’re actually allowed to head out without the watchful eyes of their parents monitoring their every move. Just walking up to the door and politely asking for candy is a lesson in developing social skills that aren’t being tested otherwise. Trunk or treating simplifies the process and, in doing so, takes away some of the unseen benefits that kids gain from Halloween night.